Love and Who is My Brother?
The following was based on a sermon given by Richard Close that Bob Thiel expanded by adding more scriptures related to love and the commandments (each of these men composed about half of what is in this article). Many scriptural quotes from him were from the NJV; from Bob Thiel.
Here is a link a related sermon: Love Your Brother and Neighbor.
Richard Close he was going to help get people to think BIG about the New Testament Church.
His first scripture was John 13:34, and before quoting it he said:
We need to keep in mind that this was within hours of the time that Jesus Christ was going to suffer and die. It was within days of the time that the holy spirit was going to be given and the New Testament church was going to start.
He then quoted it:
34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.”
This is part of a section of threes in the scripture.
12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
In verse 17, He repeats some of it again.
17These things I command you, that you love one another.
In studying through this, it struck Richard Close to mention there's three times in a couple of chapters Jesus said, 'love one another'.
It ties in a little bit with Peter who, before Christ's crucifixion Christ said you will deny me three times before daylight and after the resurrection Christ went back to him and asked, "Peter do you love me?"
So we have:
Three times love.
Three times denial.
Three times love again.
Richard said, "I thought well that is a set of three three. It was interesting. I don't know if it means anything or not, but it struck me.
What is clear from these scriptures is that we have to love. It is a given.
As Christians, we are to be "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) as the Apostle Paul wrote.
Who do we love? And Who not?"
Scripture says, "Love Not the World."
Does that mean the people of the world we are not to love or just the wrong things in the world that we are not supposed to love?
In John 3:16 that all the Protestants quote, it is recorded that Jesus said.
16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Yes, even while we were sinners, Jesus Christ died for us.
We are supposed to emulate Jesus Christ because He did everything in His life perfectly there were no flaws anywhere.
1 Corinthians 11:1
1Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
So, Paul emulated Jesus Christ. He followed Jesus Christ and he encouraged us to follow Jesus Christ as he followed Jesus Christ. With that in mind, this is a rhetorical question that I (Richard Close) don't expect an answer, but I'd like you to think about it sometime during the week. I come up with these. They just kind of pop into my head when I am preparing stuff. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. The question is: What do I do for sinners? Christ died for me. What am I doing for the sinners in the world?
Often the Church of Rome, including from its Fatima apparition, has stated to "suffer for sinners" by intentionally causing oneself pain.
But no, we are not to intentionally harm ourselves and think that is helping sinners.
What we are to do is to love sinners and live are life as lights:
14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Now, let's go to Romans 1
We are going to look at some of Paul's early writings.
We are going to look at some definitions and some Greek words.
Romans 1:1, 6, 7
1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, ...
6Among whom [we] also [are] the called of Jesus Christ:
[Paul was called. We're called.]
7To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints
[Not only are we called, we are called to be saints. Paul was called to be an apostle]: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The term "called" in all three of those verses is from the Greek word kletos - it means you are invited, appointed, chosen
Saints is from the Greek word hagios it means sacred, physically pure, morally blameless, and consecrated
Let's take a look at another of Paul's greetings.
1 Corithians 1:1-2
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
The first word we are going to look at defined in that scripture is church.
Church in verse 2 is ekklesia - the called out, calling out, or an assembly
13Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths you shall keep [plural]: for it is a sign [us keeping the Sabbath is a sign] between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
So, we are sanctified by God. Sanctified means set apart - made holy. That also was in the greetings from Paul.
Call upon - call upon the name of Jesus Christ. That is from the Greek word 1941, epikalouménois , - it means to entitle by implication to invoke for aid, worship, testimony, decision, appeal.
That sounds like when you call on the name of Jesus Christ you are praying. - Very similar.
Herbert Armstrong once said some many years ago, and I (Richard Close) don't know that I heard it when he said it, but I have read it several times since. I am going to partially quote, partially paraphrase. He said,
'The Worldwide Church of God is not the body of Jesus Christ. [Which I always thought it was for years and years and years, but he went on to say that:] The Worldwide Church of God is a physical cooperation. The body of Jesus Christ is a spiritual organism.
Two different planes - physical and spiritual. The physical corporation that he was speaking of was a manmade structure based on Biblical principle, but still was a manmade organization governed by man's laws. The body of Jesus Christ is a spiritual organism.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Jesus Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
We have unity, each and every one of us, through the bread and wine into the body of Jesus Christ. We are a part of the body because we understand what the Passover means, what the Passover teaches. And we partake that, and thereby, each of us gains a unity with Jesus Christ.
John 10:15 Jesus Christ speaking:
15As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; [in future tense] and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
We don't see that today, but it is coming after Jesus returns.
How do we know that is when? Because the Apostle Paul wrote:
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
We are not perfected until Jesus returns. But until then, the faithful ministry is to teach.
Anyway, we do not want to push unity for unity's sake like the ecumenists in the world's churches do.
Paul also wrote:
15For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
So, if we are led by the spirit, we are children of God, bottom line.
1 Corinthians 12:7-14, 18, 25, 27
7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom [understanding]; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as [it] will.
12For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.14For the body is not one member, but many.
Jump down to verse 18.
18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it pleases him.
25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
A division is where we are at, but it is not what God really wants.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particularly.
We have a song in the hymnal "Onward Christian Soldiers!" one of the verses in it says, "All one body we." That has become a favorite song of mine (Richard Close). "All one body we."
Galatians 4: We are going to break in the middle of verse 5 and read to the end of verse 7.
5...that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because we are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Ephesians 4 :3-6
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
I would like to take a look at that particular verse and look at it backwards, from the end back to the beginning.
One God is the result. One God who says, "I change not."
One God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
One God who would have all men everywhere to repent.
One baptism, only one.
Only one legitimate, which is following personal repentance.
One faith and that faith is in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only name under heaven whereby men might be saved.
One calling. One hope. One spirit. One body with many parts.
Romans 12:4-10 Again pounding the same theme.
4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; 8Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that show mercy, with cheerfulness.
9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
The above being true, not because I say it but because it is on the Book. The above is true.
As Paul would say, Therefore, how should we behave in the body (1 Timothy 3:15)? How is your neighbor?
25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how do you read it? 27And [the lawer answered and] said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. 28And he [answered] him, You have answered right [Christ said]: this do, and you shall live. 29But he [the lawer], willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. [He crossed the road.] 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked at him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan [which was a bad name to the priests and the Levites, according to them, a Samaritan was a pretty bad individual], as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever you spend more, when I come again, I will repay you. 36Which of these three, do you think, was [his] neighbor [when he] fell among the thieves? [The lawyer was cornered, which is unusual for a lawyer.] 37[But] he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Richard Close said " the first thing that we should do in our behavior in the body is to show mercy." Mercy is related to love.
The scripture says God desires mercy and not sacrifice, but if you look at this act of mercy by the Samaritan, the mercy led to a sacrifice on his part. He sacrificed his time, sacrificed his mode of transportation, sacrificed money and was willing to sacrifice more money. Sacrifice of this type is the essence of love. That is what Jesus Christ taught.
9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. [especially to the household of faith]
The Greek word for faith in this case is pistis. It is a moral conviction of religious truth, by extension it is the system of religious truth itself.
Moral conviction of religious truth, by extension the system of religious truth itself.
The second aspect of our conduct that I would like to take a look at is forgiveness.
23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you [We go to the alter of God boldly every time we pray, if we go there and we remember thinking back, 'somebody has an issue with me,' God says]; 24Leave your gift before the altar, and go your way; and first [before you offer the gift] be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
We need to be reconciled to our brother before we pray with any degree of effectiveness.
1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Paraphrasing those verses, they talk about when we see our brother in a fault, and we decide he is in a fault, and we want to go correct him it says, "Make sure you see clearly before you go to correct or help your brother."
Take the plank the beam, the big sticks, out of your own eye, make sure youv'e got your ducks in a row before you try to teach your brother what his minor splinter problem is.
Many do not want to acknoledge their own faults and Jesus was admonishing people to consider their own faults, which, would tend to make them more loving if they do then give correction.
Matthew 18:15, 21-22
15Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he hears you, you have gained your brother. ...
21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, not until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.
Which is a lot of times. Basically, it means an infinite number of forgiveness.
verse 32, and it goes down to the parable where the servant came to his master and owed him a lot of money and he was forgiven, but he didn't turn around and reciprocate.
32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired of me: 33Should not you also have had compassion on your fellowservant, even as I had pity on you? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
So we have covered mercy and forgiveness. Let's take a look, now, at judgment.
Turn with me back to:
50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
We are brothers.
4Who are you that judges another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Skipping to verse 10:
10But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nought your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord [God], every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13Let us not therefore judge one another any more [Let us not therefore judge one another any more - the finger pointing, the name calling has got to stop. It needs to stop with me, and it needs to stop with you. We don't need it. It is not Biblical, in fact it is very anti-Biblical.]
13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
It is pretty easy to see that on a physical basis if you have a blind person and you throw a cinder block in front of him as you are going down the street, he is going to fall. But on a spiritual level it is a little more difficult to see. It can be something that is so insignificant to you as a backhanded comment that you think is a joke or something and it causes your brother to stumble because he is not thinking on the same level as you are - it is not funny to him. So, we need to be careful of what we say and how we say it to our brethren.
13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection.
1 Corinthians 6:1
1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? ['What are you doing', he is saying, 'taking people to court in front of the unjust instead of settling it amongst yourself between the saints if you have an issue.'] 2Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know you not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4If then you have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6But a brother goes to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? [Just let it go. Don't hang on to it. Let it go. Don't keep stirring the pot. Don't keep pointing the fingers and calling the names. Quit. There is nothing physical that is worse.] why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8Nay, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
We were that way, but we were washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.
31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: 36Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink? 38When saw we you as a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you? 39Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.
Do you want to take that chance? You can do it a lot, but if you miss one, and you know that you missed one, pretty strong condemnation.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto you? [or serve you?] 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.
Let's take another look at verse 40.
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.
Christ is judging. He is judging here from His throne and He is talking to spiritual sons of God and potential daughter's of God. Spiritual sons, son of the same Father, brothers. If you and any other person has the same father, you are brothers. If you are a brother with the son of that father, he is your brother too.
Your spiritual brothers and sisters include all true Christians.
How do we know if someone is a true Christian?
While we cannot look into their heart, there are ways that many show that they are not true Christians.
Consider the following:
4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 12 I write to you, little children,Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. 13 I write to you, fathers,Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.I write to you, young men,Because you have overcome the wicked one.I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers,Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.I have written to you, young men,Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:4-17).
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
The Book of Acts also states that the Holy Spirit is given by God "to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32)
So, what about everyone else?
Are we also supposed to love them?
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Notice a question and Jesus' answer:
35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus' brother James even emphasized that you must keep all of the commandments to show love:
If you really fulfill the royal law according to scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder'. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law (James 2:8-11).
James was listing a couple of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments lay the foundation for an ethical way of life--a life of showing love.
Additionally, Paul wrote:
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14)
Did you know that Paul also wrote the following?
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)
Christians are to be those expressing love from a pure heart with sincere faith. Christians are to keep the ten commandments. This shows love to their Christian brothers and sisters as well as their neighbor in the world.
Love, not position is what should be important for Christians. The Apostle Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Some, sadly, think matters are more important than love and get wrapped up in their own fantasies and wrong priorities.
The Apostle John was inspired to write:
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:2-3).
Now, let's considere the last five of the Ten Commandments.
The Sixth Commandment
Imagine a world that is safe.
Around $2 trillion dollars per year is spent on militaries worldwide. Massive amounts are also spent on police forces and security services.
Money that goes towards killing or preventing getting killed could go to aid humankind instead of protect against it.
The first physical murder recorded in the Bible is when Cain killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8).
But murder began before there were human beings. Notice what Jesus said:
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, ... (John 8:44)
Satan’s deceit to Adam and Eve ultimately resulted in their death (cf. Genesis 2:17; 5:5).
The sixth commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:
13 “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
Yet, most who profess Christianity have reasoned around the truth that command contains.
Military Service and Sports
It is well documented that early Christians would not voluntarily enter the military. Nor would they watch violent sports.
Even most Greco-Romans who professed Christ held to that view until the 4th century, when most accepted the decrees and influence of the follower of the sun-god Mithras, named Constantine.
“Mithraism was first and foremost a military cult” (Aiken CF. Mithraism. The Catholic University bulletin, Volume 19, 1913, p. 255). Emperor Constantine attempted to blend his pagan views with what he considered to be Christianity (Herbermann C, Georg G. Constantine the Great. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908).
Many went along with Emperor Constantine.
Even Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, took militaristic views of Christianity (cf. Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632).
Yet, Jesus taught His servants would not fight in this age (John 18:36). in His Sermon on the Mount, He taught to be angry against one without cause risked judgment (Matthew 5:22). Because of these teachings and the teaching to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), early Christians would not only not join the military, they would not even watch violent sports (cf. Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter XV).
Wanting someone to be injured or to somehow be intentionally struck by someone else for entertainment does not show ‘Philadelphian love’ and should not be encouraged.
Philadelphia means ‘brotherly love.’ Yet, most who profess Christ do not seem to be bothered by encouraging violence against others.
In the Kingdom of God, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3).
Control Your Anger
Jesus warned against improper anger (Matthew 5:22).
Yet some are proud of their tempers. Others blame their anger on their upbringing and/or ethnic origin and are unwilling to change. Although all are affected by their environments, we are not to nurse our anger.
But the Bible says that anger is not to control us in both the Old and New Testaments:
4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. (Psalm 4:4)
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32)
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11)
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Additionally, notice the following:
1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (Proverbs 15:1-2)
18 A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention. (Proverbs 15:18)
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
Not only are we not to be improperly angry, it is wise for God’s people to help others who may be angry towards us if we can.
We are also to pray for them:
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)
Jesus set a standard above merely not murdering. We are to love and pray for our enemies and strive for perfection!
Jesus taught and expanded the sixth commandment:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder’, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21-22). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders...These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “You shall not murder” (Matthew 19:18). “...murders...All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21,23). “Do not murder” (Mark 10:19). “You know the commandments:...Do not murder” (Luke 18:20).
Even being angry at one improperly is considered by God to be murder.
The Seventh Commandment
Adultery and other forms of sexual immorality are rampant--they are NOT love.
Many “have eyes full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:14) and like adulterers in the past do not consider adultery nor fornication to be a sin—they think they “have done no wickedness” (Proverbs 30:20).
With the advent of photography in the 19th century, along with movies in the 20th and 21st centuries, and also the internet, there has been a massive rise in the production and viewing of pornography.
Pornography, especially in this internet age, can become addictive. Research shows it distorts one’s view of the opposite sex as it often displays people in terms of sexual response (especially women) unrealistically. Pornography can play a role in sexual infidelities as well as in societal sexual crimes such as rape and child molestation. Christians need to flee pornography and all other forms of illicit sexual experimentation (1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 5:28).
Satan has managed to get lust and other false sexual messages to spread far and wide. Satan wants YOU to be unfaithful.
Yet, centuries before Mt. Sinai, Israel’s son Joseph stated he would not sin by committing adultery (Genesis 39:9). Adultery is also called sin in the New Testament (2 Peter 2:14).
The Bible has many admonitions against adultery, and many passages in the Book of Proverbs provide warnings against it (cf. Proverbs 2:10-20; 5:15-23; 6:23-34; 7:1-27; 23:26-28). They warn that words of an adulteress are deceptive. And of course, any married person involved in adultery has also violated their marriage vows.
The only form of sexual relations that the Bible sanctions is between a male married to a female (cf. Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5). Bestiality (Leviticus 20:15-16), fornication (Galatians 5:19), homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22), incest (Leviticus 18:6-17), prostitution (Deuteronomy 23:17-18), and lesbianism (Romans 1:26) are all condemned.
Fantasy sex is also condemned (Job 31:1,9-11; Matthew 5:28).
Masturbation is either improper lust (1 John 2:16) or else a desire for relief— “but God provided for males, through the means of nocturnal emissions during sleep” (Armstrong HW. Missing Dimension in Sex, 1981) for males, making masturbation always unnecessary. Masturbation itself has a variety of undesirable mental and social affects as studies from the old Soviet Union concluded—flee from it (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).
The societal cost for fornication, unwed motherhood, divorce, and sexually-transmitted diseases is high and should never be. There would be less broken homes, less juvenile delinquency, and less disease if people would obey the seventh commandment.
The seventh commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:
14 “You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
The sexual and reproductive drives that God made can be quite powerful. This drive was at least partially intended to get many people to look for a spouse (Genesis 2:18; Matthew 19:4-5; Proverbs 18:22, 30:19; 1 Corinthians 7:9) as well as to motivate them to improve their situations so that they could properly raise their own families (cf. Malachi 2:15; Genesis 29:18; 1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:3-8). Sexual immorality, such as fornication and masturbation, divert that drive away from God’s intended purposes. For young men, the sexual/reproductive drive should help motivate them to take steps to be able to provide for a family (cf. 1 Timothy 5:8). For young women, this drive should motivate them to be able to properly raise a family (cf. Titus 2:4).
A major point of marriage is love, not lust. Men are to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Women are “to love their husbands, to love their children” (Titus 2:4.) But adultery is a hurtful “lust of the flesh” (cf. Galatians 5:16,19) and not love.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
A real Christian should not marry one who is not a real Christian nor incorporate paganism into worship practices.
There are clearly spiritual ramifications of marriage.
The Apostle Paul also wrote:
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
So, consider there are not only physical principles involved in the seventh commandment. We are to pursue the truth of God and strive to faithfully be one with God (John 17:11).
The Bible also specifically teaches against spiritual adultery:
Spiritual adultery includes compromising and adding pagan practices and beliefs to what should be the true faith. This was shown in the New Testament and is also prophesied to be a major problem in the end times (Revelation 17).
Those who teach ‘liberty’ from the Ten Commandments are really bringing people into “bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21).
Avoiding fornication is good for marriage:
Federal government statistics show that the prospects for an early divorce are minimal among American couples who have never had any sexual partners other than their spouses, and increases with the number of other partners.
Among couples who have not had other partners, 95% of marriages remain intact through at least the first five years. That number drops to 62% if the woman has had any other partner, and to nearly 50% if she has had two other partners. The numbers also drop, although less sharply, if the man has had other partners. (Statistics show marriages more likely to survive if couples had no other lifetime sexual partners. CNS, 02/13/17).
Society would be so much better off if the seventh commandment were truly kept.
The Bible shows that marriage is intended to last a lifetime:
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?"
4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
7 They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
8 He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."
10 His disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry."
11 But He said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: (Matthew 19:3-11).
God hates divorce:
15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:15-16)
There is a very large church that claims to be the original church, yet it allows its priests to put away their wives so that they can become ‘bishops.’ Priests that do that “deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.” That and other behaviors God hates.
The Bible also speaks of divorce and remarriage as adultery (Matthew 19:9).
We are to keep our marriage vows (Malachi 2:14), even when it is not easy (cf. Psalm 15:4).
While the Bible mentions a couple of exceptions (cf. Matthew 5:32, 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:13-15,39), most who have divorced in the eyes of their government and/or church and then remarried are considered to be adulterers by the God of the Bible (cf. Matthew 19:9). They are not learning the way of love as they should.
Jesus taught and expanded the seventh commandment:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery’. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...adulteries, fornications...These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9). “You shall not commit adultery” (Matthew 19:18). “...adulteries, fornications...All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21,23). “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12). “Do not commit adultery” (Mark 10:19). “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery” (Luke 18:20). “‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery’...And Jesus said to her...’sin no more’” (John 8:4,11). “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation” (Revelation 2:22).
The Eighth Commandment
Can you imagine a world in which you never have to worry about anyone stealing anything from you, your family, your business, etc.? A world where no one tries to cheat you?
That is how the world should be.
The eighth commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:
15 “You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
The Bible not only teaches against stealing, notice the following:
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)
Yes, you are to GIVE to others, not just avoiding stealing!
If everyone stole and no one produced, there would be nothing to eat, nothing to wear, etc. Stealing hurts society.
It may be of interest to note that the biblical penalty for stealing was to pay the stolen from 4-5 times as much as the value of what was stolen (cf. Exodus 22:1). And for stealing food, 7 times as much (Proverbs 6:31).
Among other things, this taught people that they would not get rich from stealing and needed to produce their own food.
From a societal perspective, we would almost never need locks or carry keys if people did not steal. Also, if people do not steal, they tend to realize that they need to work to produce what they and their families need.
But there are other ways to steal. Improper representations when buying or selling (false advertising) is wrong (Proverbs 20:10, 14). Not working as one should (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24), is stealing from one’s employer and/or society. Employers are also to properly pay their employees (cf. James 5:4-6). The Bible also teaches that one who is too lazy to work is covetous (Proverbs 21:25-26). Covetousness leads to stealing.
Committing adultery is stealing from one’s spouse and put’s one’s spouse at risk of disease. Not praising God as we are told to do (e.g. Psalm 22:23; 113:1; Romans 13:7) would be another form of stealing.
Those truly living as Christians are not scheming to try to figure out how much they can take from others.
The Nineth Commandment
Years ago, a minister gave an assignment about which commandment was the most important.
And while the first commandment is, from a physical perspective this author concluded that if the ninth commandment was obeyed, the world would be a much better and different place.
If people did not lie, the ‘justice system’ would be overhauled, politicians would have to change mightily, wars could be averted, relationships would be stronger, and less people would get hurt.
Satan is the father of deceit (John 8:44). That, as well as the violation of the first and seventh commandments, is why Christians do not go to fortune tellers, check their horoscopes, or other such things (cf. Leviticus 19:26, 20:6; Deuteronomy 4:19-20; Jeremiah 10:2).
Christians are to worship the “God of truth”:
4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4).
It is because of deceit that Satan gets the world to go in the wrong direction:
9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9).
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
Satan broadcasts his deceitful attitude in ways that human beings, sadly, tune into. Christians need to resist Satan and draw closer to God (James 4:7-8).
Satan does not obey the ninth commandment and does not want you to either.
Notice the following:
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." (John 8:42-47)
People without sufficient love for the truth do not love Jesus, nor others as they should. Love towards your brothers as well as the world is displayed through keeping the commandments.
The ninth commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
Some have said the above does not specify lying, but the following does:
25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25)
Yet many who claim Christ seem to condone what they call ‘white lies’ as well as other forms of false witness. Christians are to TELL THE TRUTH!
If you are going to speak, always tell the truth. The truth and God’s word sets Christians apart:
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:16-17)
Keep Your Promises!
Do not overpromise. Jesus taught:
33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:33-37)
Some people overpromise. Jesus said not to do that. Christians are not to swear oaths as that, as Jesus alluded to, is a form of false witness. While Christians can confirm/affirm their word is true, they cannot swear that they can make something happen, etc.
It is terrible how easily people these days lie, and how often even Christians do not follow through with their promises!
God’s people keep their word, even when it is difficult:
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? 2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. 4 Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. (Psalm 15:1-4, New Living Translation).
Because the leadership of this author’s former church association would not keep various specific promises, even when reminded, it was clear that the Philadelphia work (Revelation 3:7-13; Hebrews 13:1; Psalm 33:4) could not be led by them. Thus, the Continuing Church of God needed to be formed.
Notice also that in Psalm 15 it shows that God’s people are to be careful about gossip. We are not to bear false witness against our neighbor, yet gossips often do that. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Matthew 19:19).
The Bible warns a lot against pride, haughtiness, and hypocrisy. All are basically forms of false witness against oneself and often others.
Lucifer had pride. Eve had pride. It is a lie to trust oneself above God. Vanity is a lie.
But the “pride of life” (1 John 2:16) affects everyone to one degree or another. Pride puffs up (1 Timothy 3:6). Furthermore, consider that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5, KJV). Vanity is the quality of being worthless or futile. Pride and haughtiness lead to destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Vanity is a common form of false witness.
Trust God and do not lean to prideful wrong understandings (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Pride is lying to oneself. And that is not good.
The Bible teaches:
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
“But outside are...whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15).
The world would be a so much better place if people did not lie and would keep their word.
The Tenth Commandment
Contrary to how the world views it, Jesus said:
15 Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. (Luke 12:15)
Most modern people disagree. There have been articles stating that covetousness is good because it keeps the economy moving and other similar dribble.
Many feel that they need to ‘keep up with the Jones’ or are otherwise entitled to have more than perhaps they earn. Many go into debt as they covet approval of others and will buy items for show as opposed to need.
Christians should try to be content. The Apostle Paul wrote:
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (1 Timothy 6:6-9)
Gambling is often a form of covetousness. While ‘gaming’ can have some entertainment value, most who gamble are coveting what they are not entitled to.
What about lottery tickets?
Overall, lotteries are a ‘tax’ on the poor, as they are the ones most likely to purchase lottery tickets. Many of the poor feel that their circumstances cannot be changed, so they may as well buy lottery tickets and hope that winning will solve their problems. This is a tremendous disincentive to the poor. One should work, tithe, and try to improve one’s skills to benefit themselves and others—placing trust in lotteries is not the way people should go.
The tenth commandment, from the Book of Exodus, states:
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Satan, War, and a Solution
Satan has used covetousness as a temptation since the time of Eve (Genesis 3:6).
Many problems are because of covetousness:
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. (James 4:1-2)
In the above, James was actually writing about spiritual warfare (cf. James 4:3-6), but covetousness often causes physical wars as well.
James actually gives a way to deal with covetousness and other sins:
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:6-10)
Satan does not want you to love your brothers, sisters, or other neighbors.
If you will humble yourself before God and resist the devil, God will lift you up and you will not need to be a slave to sin (John 8:34-36).
The devil appeals to pride, covetousness, and self-deceit.
Notice something from the Old and New Testaments
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly; (Proverbs 23:31)
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
Improper desire leads to sin:
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
Sin does not produce love.
Do not dwell on things you should not have. Thus, do not view pornography, horoscopes, or alcohol if you have a problem with it, or anything else you should not have.
The Apostle Paul was inspired to write:
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Consider that gluttony (Proverbs 23:21), adultery (Proverbs 6:27-29), drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18) and sexual immorality are harmful physically as well as sins against the body (1 Corinthians 6:18). Those who become slaves to lusts of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21).
Jesus taught and expanded the tenth commandment:
“Do not worry about your liyofe, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on” (Matthew 6:25). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “... covetousness... All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:22-23).
Faith can keep you from sinning, while also helping you to give love as you should.
Satan thrives on covetousness. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
Satan does not want you to love neighbor, but instead take from others.
We are to love our Christian brothers and sisters.
In conclusion, let's turn to:
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
12And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13To the end that he [God] may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
What is our responsibility from here going forward?
We need to continue to search for God's truth, keep the commandments, practice kindness, and show love.
Don't think we have it all. Richard Close stated that we definitely have what we need, but he believed there is more out there to learn.
And he don't think we'd know everything before we come up in the resurrection,
Jesus Christ comes up, taps us on the shoulder, and says, "Well done, good and faithful servant, but you had this wrong." That will help keep us humble, and He won't create another Satan by having someone that is so full of vanity sa/ying, "I got everything right why didn't you follow me?" Not going to happen again.
Prove all things. Love the brethren. Be merciful, and live by faith.
Here is a link a related sermon: Love Your Brother and Neighbor.
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